‘Modest’ Gulf of Mexico lease sale attracts $159M in bids

The U.S. administration’s latest Gulf of Mexico lease sale has attracted $159,4 million in high bids, a result described as “somewhat modest,” by NOIA.

Illustration; A U.S. Gulf of Mexico oil platform – Image source: DOI

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior, the Lease Sale 253 held on Wednesday saw 27 oil companies take part.

The companies offered $159,386,761 in high bids for 151 tracts covering 835,006 acres in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The lease sale included 14,585 offshore blocks, located from three to 231 miles offshore, in the Gulf’s Western, Central and Eastern Planning Areas in water depths ranging from nine to more than 11,115 feet (three to 3,400 meters).

The Mississippi Canyon block NH16-10 received four bids, which is the largest number of bids for a block in this lease sale.

The highest bid for a single block came from BHP. The Australian company offered $22,5 million for NG15-03 Green Canyon block and was the only company bidding for that block. The second-highest bid came from Chevron for the Mississippi Canyon/937 block – $6.7 million

Equinor submitted the biggest number of bids – 23 in total, for the sum of $16 million. BHP was the highest bidder by the money amount offered – $41 million – across 20 blocks.

BP, Shell, Chevron, Anadarko, Hess, Total, Kosmos, Enven, took part as well.

Source: BOEM
Source: BOEM

The U.S. National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) Vice President of Communications Nicolette Nye said: “The somewhat modest results of lease sale 253 reflect the cautiously optimistic attitude of an offshore industry still in recovery.”

“Bidding activity today may reflect the slower than desired improvement in [oil] prices. There is also uncertainty surrounding pending regulatory actions such as financial assurance and fair market valuation.

“Deepwater and ultra-deepwater tracts drew high interest in this sale but shallow water tracts also proved to be attractive. Overall, today’s’ sale demonstrates that the offshore oil and gas industry remains committed to the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. Each newly leased block represents a chance for further exploration, development and economic and energy opportunity.  The U.S. Gulf of Mexico will continue to be a vital part of America’s economic and energy future,” Nye said.

The previous lease sale held in March attracted $244,299,344 in high bids for 227 tracts covering 1,261,133 acres in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Oil giant Shell snapped up the biggest number of blocks – 87 – while Norway’s Equinor submitted the highest bid for a single block – $24,5 million.

Offshore Energy Today Staff


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